The Victorian Studies Centre

Research degrees

The Victorian Studies Centre at Leicester has a lively community of doctoral students, who register with the department most connected with their research topic (English or History) and come together under the Centre's aegis for seminars, conferences, reading groups and other events.

Recent theses emerging from the Centre include:

Other topics have covered Tennyson's poetry and Goethe's philosophy of nature, hybridity in the sensation fiction of Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Dickens and work, George Bernard Shaw and eugenics, the Britannia Theatre in Hoxton, poor law administration in Leicester and 19th-century women writing religion.

The Centre is a major hub for research, and we offer expert supervision by nationally and internationally recognised scholars. Our integrated arrangements for supervision, training, and academic seminars combine with a strong staff profile and energetic student body to provide an excellent environment for research and learning. We welcome applications dealing with any aspect of Victorian Studies from suitably qualified candidates with a good first degree in a relevant subject. Assessment for the degree of PhD is by thesis and final oral examination.

Facilities for research students

The University Library, established in 1922, offers first-rate provision for research in Victorian Studies. It is particularly strong in sources for the study of 19th-century literature. Special collections include Victorian periodicals.

The University provides word-processing and computing facilities campus-wide.

The School of Arts encourages and advises on graduate involvement in the larger network of scholarship, through attendance at conferences, visits to archives and special collections, and publication.

Research training

Research students are closely and expertly supervised on an individual basis by a main supervisor and a second supervisor, or sometimes jointly. Additionally, all students take a one-semester seminar course on research methods, bibliography, and writing skills. A regular 'Research in Progress' seminar series, organised by graduate students themselves, provides a forum for presentations and the exchange of ideas amongst graduate students and staff. The other staff/graduate student seminar involves the presentation and discussion of formal research papers, often given by speakers from outside Leicester.

The Doctoral College provides comprehensive research training.


The Centre can provide supervision for individual research projects (full-time or part-time) on many topics within Victorian Studies. Research students are normally admitted as Advanced Postgraduate Students, and transfer at a later stage to the degree of either MPhil or PhD. All new postgraduate students undertake a module in bibliography and research methods in their first term of registration.

Minimum and maximum periods of registration are:

Degree Minimum Maximum
PhD full-time 2 years 4 years
PhD part-time 3 years 6 years
MPhil full-time 1 year 2 years
MPhil part-time 2 years 4 years

To find out more about research degrees, please contact:

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